Those whose work is dedicated to resolving social issues, the leaders in power, the leaders out of power, those aiming at higher profits and more customers, or those starting a new business know that in order to remain in charge one must learn to stand strong as a beneficial building block of a system. Same stands for anyone who wants to be a vital part of their social circle. And that requires certain amount of knowledge about how the rest of the “building blocks” think, feel and behave. There is no better way to know what people want and need than to ask them.
THE ONLINE POLLING REVOLUTION: UNLEASHING THE POWER OF DATA COLLECTION
Conducting polls and surveys in person door-to-door was the traditional method of the 70s and 80s. This approach quickly became outdated after the widespread use of landline phones. Then came the cellphone. But the practice of making phone surveys in general became old-fashioned, just as going from house to house once did, due to the rise of online polling.
The crucial factor of online polling is the effectiveness of the method in terms of accuracy, accessibility and response rates, not its newness.
Live telephone interviewing doesn’t bring the same response rates as fewer people globally use landline phones, and more often than not, people who use landline phones are somehow outliers to questions targeting people under 40, for example.
Cellphone calling is also problematic as fewer people answer calls from unknown numbers. And even if someone does agree to go through all questions, a deep survey for example can take at least 10 minutes to complete. The chances to find randomly someone with that kind of focused attention and free time are small.
Online polling allows for a wider and more diverse pool of participants. It can reach a larger number of people across a wider geographic area than phone polling and respondents can complete online polls at their convenience, from anywhere with an internet connection.
In addition, online polling using blockchain technology like PollPapa provides respondents with greater anonymity, which may lead to more honest and accurate responses. Respondents in a phone poll may try to appear positive by providing socially desirable responses or downplaying any negative views or opinions they may have when responding to a live interviewer. This is referred to as social desirability bias, and it occurs when people respond to questions in a way that they believe will make them look good or will avoid negative judgment from others.
This is one of the reasons why, especially for sensitive or controversial topics, online polling can be more accurate and effective than phone polling.
Being cost-effective, online polling provides faster data collection: data can be collected and analyzed in real-time, which allows for faster decision-making and response to trends.
ASKING THE RESPONDENTS
In oder to make a person respond to a question, one must ask the correct question. As simple as it sounds, this could be a rather tricky one. One of the most undermined factors is not just what, but how a question is modified. The question order and the question wording are some of the factors which can affect the responsiveness, attract or repel a voter. Here lies the thin line between biased and unbiased polls. The respondent also must understand, know and care about what they are being asked. Otherwise they choose to give the “I don’t know” response much too often, which is a real thorn in the side of pollsters. The topic of how to create effective polls with effective questions will be explored further more in future posts on the Pollpapa website and here.
WHAT MOVES PUBLIC OPINION?
The technique of public opinion survey gained much interest throughout the twentieth century, achieving domination over all other techniques for measuring the “will of the people” in modern democratic polities.
Although demographic and behavioural metrics are often taken into account, the primary focus of any public opinion research is, not surprisingly, opinions or “contestable mental representations.” These representations should represent a shared attitude or they can’t be called public. This means that as public they can not be private or directly related to the state.
Public opinion is believed by some to be a great help of democracy, determining how governments should act. In every uprising dictatorship the first corridor to be shut is the one connecting authorities with people. Different news sources become one and the same, repeating propaganda in different voices. News commentators and journalists are fired or arrested if not in tune with the order of the day.
But in a democratic society, which influences public opinion the most: mass media, social media, events, experts, politicians or interested groups? We have seen in the past years a rapid growth of public disbelief in the old-school sources of information and polling.
Discrepancies between current news and poll results are obvious and secularize societies. Although democracy lives to ensure freedom of speech, ironically today’s “free” media offers its own propaganda, and finding honest opinions and information is nearly impossible.
WHEN ONLINE POLLING MEETS THE BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY
People need to take control of the polling process because it allows for a more democratic and accurate representation of public opinion. When individuals have a say in how data is collected and analyzed, they are more likely to trust the results and feel that their voices are being heard.
With user-generated, recorded on the blockchain, results are fully transparent, uncensored, and decentralized. An online polling tool like Pollpapa combines these powerful assets and that is the real power in the hands of our community.
USING ONLINE POLLS TO GATHER VALUABLE CUSTOMER INSIGHTS
An online poll can be of benefit to increase engagement and brand awareness with access to real-time data that is both accurate and up-to-date.
It is a well-known and often forgotten rule that before launching anything on the market, the company absolutely must be sure if it is something people actually want. This step will surely save weeks of work and tons of disappointment.
Because usually people don’t remember the failed product, they remember the unreliable brand behind it.
The future of a new product or service can not be predicted with a hundred percent certainty, there is always the risk of failure, but it is also true that it can not rely on a coin toss. The only way to make it is to risk it, but there are reasonable and unreasonable risks. The list of tech startups, products and foods that flopped out of market year after year is a fun read and in some cases there are great ideas that did not make it simply because their creators skipped the most important step – asking people what they really want. One thing is certain, it’s fun to read about other people’s flopped products but if not careful it’s never too late for your product to find itself on the Museum of Failure’s shelves.
The positive or negative feedback is a strong signal what the future holds. People have to understand where the product fits and what needs it meets. A poor marketing message for a product doesn’t explain to the public what the product has to offer. Furthermore, if an established brand wants to change its famous product or break out of the norm, e.g. what Toyota did with Lexus, some serious work lies ahead. To quote Al Ries here: “If you have a powerful perception for one class of product, it becomes almost impossible to extend that perception to a different class. Names have power, but only in the camp in which they have credentials and when they get out of their camp, when they lose focus, they also lose their power.” The miscalculation happens in the first steps more often than not, and it drags losses in sales, human capital losses and damage to company reputation.
A social media polling platform such is Pollpapa gives any entity small or big, private or public the opportunity to test the ground it stands on with over 10 different polling options and get real time data for further deep analysis of the results.
NEW WAYS TO GET TO KNOW YOUR SOCIAL CIRCLES
Of course life is more than politics and profits. Polling results can bring up as much crucial insights and discussion as pure amusement. The big question among friends who likes pineapple on their pizza still stands. In your social circle you can be witty, silly and edgy and even try out new original ideas and unconventional attitudes. A poll can also have a supportive role in a moment of personal dilemma. A witty poll can be a great way to meet new like-minded friends online. Social media is all about connection so why not follow someone new and see what they’re all about in their polls?
The next step in the process is analyzing the data and interpreting the results. What has been said and done is now turned into data. What one makes out of this data is crucial to what one brings back to the community.
After all, the ultimate goal of polling must be in ideal terms to give back something of value.
In the era of the cult of information, information is abundant but surprisingly people nowadays naturally tend to use less information than they think to make up their minds. A poll is a method of taking the temperature of a particular situation in a world where the opinion of the public can often be swayed by the loudest voice in the room. Careful evaluation must be made before deeming things good or bad. Setting plans in motion by careful assessment of the first steps is crucial, a trial and error approach is mandatory and a tool such as polling can be invaluable for development of business and communities alike.
Because Pollpapa is a social platform, centered around public polling, we want to address the limitations of personalized filtering called media bubbles.
Polling, facilitated by platforms like Pollpapa, not only empowers individuals living in poverty, but also aids governments and organizations in designing more comprehensive and effective strategies to alleviate poverty.